Kumba(National Times)-The outburst of Cameroon’s revered traditional ruler, patriarch and politician Nfon V E Mukete at the close of the March Session of Senate is akin to similar declarations he had made in relation to the anger of Anglophones even before the current crisis surfaced.
Nfon Mukete holds a historical records for daring to make bold his intention to pursue the reunification of East and West Cameroons from the floor of a Nigerian House of representative even at the expense of his cabinet position in the late 50s.
His recent utterances at the Senate last week are a replay of what he served South West Governor Bernad Okalia Bilai and Professor Alexis Njolio, an official of the Chantal Biya International Reference Center (CBIRC)on September 26th , 2015.
This was in Kumba, Mukete’s ancestral land. Njolio an emissary of Cameroon’s First Lady Chantal Biya for the launch of a ‘social vaccine’ program to roll back HIV/AIDS related diseases among youths pricked Nfon Mukete’s bile with his ‘imposing ‘ use of the French language on Anglophone soil.
The professor was on with his presentation; it was a vexed Nfon Mukete who sprang from his seat and confronted the Governor over the use of French against English right in his home land.
Then , Nfon Mukete lamented over the disdain for the English language and the maltreatment of English-speakers within the polity. That occasion recorded a temporary halt as the crowd was taken aback.
Across the Kumba City grandstand where the event was in progress, a host of sons and daughters of the South West Region, saw reason with Nfon Mukete but most could only salute his courage behind the scene.
On that day, Mukete earned admiration for telling the powers that be that, such actions were responsible for growing anger within the Anglophone population.
In reaction to Mukete’s action that stirred uncertainty at the occasion, then Chief of Cabinet at the Governor’s Office Bernard Fonju Njukang stepped in for a summary of Professor Njolio’s presentation in English. Njukang is today South West coordinator of the disarmament Commission battling to bring peace for a problem the Nfon saw coming years back.
On that occasion, the Governor in his concluding remarks promised Nfon Mukete that actions will be taken to address such worries. He then jokingly promised that Professor Njolio was going to upgrade his English when he returned to Yaounde.
For one thing, Nfon Mukete has a repeated record of having been decrying the neglect of English language even when it comes to developmental issues that will benefit the population. He has never hid his disdain for the state owned bilingual daily Newspaper ‘Cameroon Tribune’ with very few articles and information in English. Mukete believes government has the capacity to run separate ‘Cameroon Tribunes’ in the two official languages to serve the people best. He has been arguing that, it worked in the years past and can still be made a reality today.
Close to four years down the road, here is Nfon Mukete on the senate floor challenging an entire government over the same issues. He did not mince words to state that such has contributed to some compatriots taking up arms against the state.
That Nfon Mukete said ‘We are joking here and people are dying in the North West and South West Regions’ tells of how bitter the revered traditional ruler is with the current situation. Must we always beg when it concerns the English Language”
He had maintained during his declaration’s at the senate that, somebody used a gun to kill the English language in Cameroon because of money.
Observers have since maintained that, it needed only a man of Nfon Mukete’s stature, age, and experience with Cameroon’s evolution to make the declarations he made before an entire government. Most Anglophones believe that, not any other person can make such declarations are go away with it.
Amid his discontent, the long time ally of Biya was rather categorical that he loves to see a united Cameroon. Mukete sums up his outing in demanding for a 10 state federation to give the local population full control of services that touch on their very survival.
Will the Biya regime listen from this living monument of Cameroon’s reunification venting his anger over errors at over 100 years old?.